Past Publishers: Sandstone Press

It's been a long long time since I've done one of these posts but I love them and I've been thinking about bringing them back since we returned from our hiatus and here I am, 8 months later, actually getting around to doing it!


The basic idea of this going forwards is that as each quarterly box ships I post a little roundup of some excellent other titles from the previous quarters' publisher. As I'm only now getting into the swing of things, there will be two posts in March as I catch up with myself and then we'll be back on quarterly schedule! We also have previous Past Publishers posts about And Other Stories, Alma, Canongate, Seren Books,and Unsung Stories.


Our September box was a triumphant return working with one of my current favourite indies, Sandstone Press. You'll have seen me raving about their books already so I'm going to give a quick honourable mention to a few titles I love a lot & have already talked about before diving into four completely new to me books that I've discovered while browsing their website. As always, I am not sorry for the inevitable expansion of your TBR.


So, quick mentions to Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq by Paul McAlindin, The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine, The Passion of Harry Bingo by Peter Ross and the forthcoming Gears for Queers by Abigail Melton and Lilith Cooper (it's AMAZING - full review coming nearer publication date) as well as (of course) our September box book, The Wolves of Leninsky Prospekt by Sarah Armstrong. And now let's dive into some backlist...

I deliberately went away from my natural inclination towards Sandstone's non-fiction when I was browsing their website, and have picked 75% fiction for this post. I have to say though that I could pretty much have picked anything from the website and it would have sounded amazing so I highly recommend having a browse yourself and maybe treating yourself to a book or two!


I love the title of Short Ride on a Fast Machine by Magnus McGrandle. It's described as a 'caper', which automatically makes me want to read it, and tells the story of a cycle courier who is sent to Norway to pick up a parcel for a mysterious client and ends up embroiled in something very suspicious. Although not the same, the blurb immediately reminded me of Dead of Winter, still one of my favourite and most underrated crime novels!


My next pick is one I was lucky enough to be sent by lovely Ceris from Sandstone a while back (I haven't read it yet but it is next on my TBR), the honestly titled We Don't Die of Love by Stephen May. Here's the blurb, because it's very succinct and sums it up better than I could: "Luke Greenwood is in crisis.

His wife of 32 years, Selena, is leaving him for a much younger man.

Then local gangsters set their sights on his café and take an interest in what’s left of his family." I can't wait to read this one.


The final fiction book I've picked is The Cost of Living by Rachel Ward, the start of a series about a checkout girl turned amateur sleuth, just the kind of mystery I love! When a young woman is attacked walking home from her supermarket, Bea, the checkout girl, decides to investigate... I love detective fiction. I've never been into crime that's super dark or gory as I find it too intense, but detective novels often feel lighter. I was brought up on historical murder mysteries (Ellis Peters' Cadfael series, Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series, Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew series etc etc) and at their heart they are all about other things as well as the crime that's being solved and I love that. It feels like this might be a series that's more about the people than the main event, and I'm looking forward to reading it at some point in the future. The best thing is, if you love this there's a sequel and a third installment coming out in June!


I'm just now realising that all of the fiction I've chosen tends towards the crime/mystery/general suspense kind of genre, which was entirely unintentional and isn't even a genre I really read much of - although maybe the fact that I've subconsciously picked three novels in this genre means I should be reading more? Either way, I make no apologies for it and hope you find something which intrigues you.


For my final pick I caved to my love of Sandstone's non-fiction, combined with a long standing obsession with 'person challenges themself to do a thing' type memoirs. (I love them so incredibly much I'm thinking of making one box a year just for this genre. Shout if you're interested). Mistress and Commander: High Jinks, High seas and Highlanders by Amelia Dalton is exactly this. Amelia Dalton decided to escape her day to day life by converting a deep sea trawler into a holiday cruiser. As you can probably imagine, she encountered lots of struggles and unforseen obstacles along the way, and this is the story of how she dealt with them!


Do you have a favourite Sandstone book that we've missed? Leave us a comment or send us a tweet and let us know!

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